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CDC reports 16 states have used less than half of their distributed vaccine doses

CDC reports 16 states have used less than half of their distributed vaccine doses
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Sixteen states have used less than half of their distributed coronavirus vaccines even as the country at large faces a crunch in the number of shots going into arms, according to data released Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC’s vaccine tracker, Alabama, Wisconsin, Kansas, Hawaii, Arizona, Pennsylvania, California, Maryland, Minnesota, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska and Ohio have all administered less than 50 percent of the vaccine doses they’ve received.

The data is the latest sign of a vaccine rollout that started slow and is gradually ramping up. Of the 48,386,275 total doses that have been distributed, just 26,193,682 have thus far been administered.

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Several states, meanwhile, have warned that they are running out of enough doses to keep up with their vaccine appointments.

California has requested the help of Blue Shield of California to allocate vaccines, and Minnesota implemented a lottery to schedule 8,000 appointments for more than 226,000 people who sought one.

The Biden administration has vowed to work to get 100 million doses administered in its first 100 days, a goal some critics say is not big enough. 

To boost the number of shots available, the White House announced this week that it is upping the weekly supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses sent to states by about 16 percent, bringing the supply of doses up from 8.6 million to 10 million. 

“This is going to allow millions more Americans to get vaccinated sooner than previously anticipated,” President Biden said Tuesday in remarks at the White House. “We've got a long way to go, though.”

Still, detractors said the increase would make little difference. 

“So we get, instead of 10,000 a day, we get another 1,000 a day?” said Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R). “We're doing 18,000 a day, so that's not going to make much of a difference to us at all.”